GREELEY, Colo. – Women’s Eagles Head Coach Pete Steinberg has announced the starting 15 for the first Nations Cup match against South Africa Tuesday. The Eagles and Women Springboks will kick off at 6:00 P.M. MT at University of Northern Colorado following Canada’s match-up with England at 4:00 P.M. MT.
Fresh from a third-place finish in Moscow at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, Jillion Potter, Emilie Bydwell, and Christy Ringgenberg earn starting spots in the opener, while Kimber Rozier will be available as a reserve.
“They have done a great job fitting in and have worked hard to become part of the group,” Steinberg said of the sevens players. “We did a lot of work prior to coming into the assembly to prepare and that allowed them to hit the ground running with our attack and defense.”
Hope Rogers starts at prop for the Eagles after a heartbreaking loss to Canada with the AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans at the U20 Nations Cup. Megan Bonny, who was just in Greeley with the AIG Women’s Collegiate All-Americans, also makes the 23-player roster.
Veteran presences from Eagles such as Shaina Turley and Jamie Burke will give the younger Eagles the confidence to perform at their best, much like in the three-test series against France earlier this summer. The Eagles took one of the three matches and almost pulled off comebacks in the other two.
“We are really focused on implementing our approaches and building on our performances against France,” Steinberg said. “We expect South Africa to play a dynamic game and we are looking forward to playing them.
“I like the mix of the squad and the young players certainly bring energy. The experienced players feed off that, as well. The best thing about our squad is depth. For the first time since I have been the coach there is competition at almost every position.”
The Eagles have been training in Greeley for the Nations Cup since Saturday, including preparing for a short tournament schedule not unlike that of the Rugby World Cup, which is fast approaching.
“We are focused on the 92-hour cycle and how we can maximize the three days between games, which is what we have at the World Cup,” Steinberg said. “This includes recovery, physical and mental recovery, and technical and coaching adjustments.”
Women's Eagles | vs. South Africa
1. Hope Rogers
2. Kittery Wagner
3. Jamie Burke
4. Carmen Farmer
5. Molly Kinsella
6. Stacey Bridges
7. Shaina Turley
8. Jillion Potter
9. Kate Daley
10. Sadie Anderson
11. Erica Cavanaugh
12. Sylvia Braaten
13. Emilie Bydwell
14. Ashley Kmiecik
15. Christy Ringgenberg